The New York Islanders are in need of a true number one goaltender and they’re looking into at least one potential fit.
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, both the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes have shown interest in Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
Interest from other teams growing in Caps netminder Grubauer plus other items on Carolina, Buffalo, Arizona, Ottawa in Rumblings blog:https://t.co/L4EXHnrNNP
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 6, 2018
Grubauer and the Capitals are currently one win away from winning the franchise their first ever Stanley Cup, but since game three of the Capitals-Blue Jackets first-round series the 26-year-old has looked on from the bench as Braden Holtby tends the goal for Washington. However, it was his unbelievable regular-season that had him in net to start games one and two in the first place as he played in a career-high 35 games, starting in 28 of them.
His 15-10-3 record as well as his 2.35 goals against average (GAA), .923 save percentage (Sv%), and three shutouts helped ease the workload of Holtby and give the Capitals the best record in the Metropolitan Division.
His career numbers are just as good with a 43-31-11 record, a 2.29 GAA, a .923 Sv%, and six shutouts.
Set to become a pending restricted free agent this summer, Grubauer might be tempted to go for a number one goalie job, a position currently occupied by Holtby. Either way, he’s due for a pay raise coming off a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.
It’s no secret the Islanders need help in goal. Jaroslav Halak, 33, went 20-26-6 this season with a 3.19 GAA, a .908 Sv%, and one shutout. After four seasons with the team, he is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Thomas Greiss, 32, has two years left on his contract and is coming off a rough season with a record of 13-8-2, a 3.82 GAA, a .892 Sv%, and one shutout. Christopher Gibson, 25, will also become a free agent this summer if a deal isn’t reached by July 1. He spent most of the season in the AHL but while up with the Isles he went 2-3-2 with a 3.65 GAA and a .908 Sv%.
The team also allowed a League-worst 293 goals which is an average of 3.57 goals per game.
Carter Hutton of the St. Louis Blues is set to be the top goaltender available in the Free Agency and the market looks pretty weak. After him, Kari Lehtonen and Halak appear to be the best options.
Lou Lamoriello, the Isles’ president of hockey operations and self-appointed general manager as of yesterday, has a history of acquiring number one goaltenders via trade.
When he was the general manager of the New Jersey Devils, he traded the team’s ninth-overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks for Cory Schneider at the draft. The Canucks used the pick to select Bo Horvat.
While with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Lamoriello acquired Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the Maple Leafs’ 30th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and a 2017 second-rounder. The Leafs signed Andersen, the pending RFA, to a five-year deal within hours of the trade. Both were goaltenders capable of being starters in the League, overshadowed by their teammates (Roberto Luongo in Vancouver, John Gibson in Anaheim).
Now, Lamoriello has a chance to do something similar on Long Island if he is able to acquire Grubauer or any number one goaltender for that matter.